A Dash of Chels

A Dash of Chels

A Lifestyle Diary

Braces vs. Invisalign: Everything You Need to Know About Choosing the Right Treatment

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February 12, 2020

As an adult I have always wanted braces, but didn't know where to start or if I was too late. (Hint: it's never too late!) I was told I needed braces around middle school, but at the time my family was about to move to Australia. The closest orthodontist was 7 hours away from where we were about to live. We were in a really unique, but tough place. Braces need adjusting and Invisalign wasn't an option at the time, so my parents made the decision to skip a treatment plan. At the time I didn't really mind, I learned to love my smile the way it was.

By my mid 20's I was really interested in receiving treatment and so my journey with Red Dirt Orthodontics began in October 2019. I am going to talk a little bit more about the pros/ cons of braces and Invisalign, so that if you are considering a treatment plan this list may help make up your mind. But really, the major PRO is that both treatments help you achieve the smile you want! This pros/ cons list is from personal experience, so please contact Dr. Erickson for your FREE smile consultation. (Use code CHELSEA for a discount on your braces or Invisalign treatment.)

Everyone's journey is different and a professional opinion is necessary in deciding the right treatment for you!

Invisalign Pros
  • No adjustments at the orthodontist.
  • Cosmetic, they're invisible!
  • Amazing oral health since you need to brush your teeth after every meal and you can eat as normal.
Invisalign Cons
  • Misplacing or losing a tray could be bad. (Which is easier to do than you might think!)
  • Brushing after every meal may not be suitable for your lifestyle.
  • Don't forget to wear them for 20-22 hours a day, preferably 22 hours!
Braces Pros
  • Brush normally!
  • No need to remember to wear your trays or worry about losing them. 
  • You may be able to get "invisible" braces which are placed behind the teeth, instead of in front.
Braces Cons
  • Cosmetic, they're not invisible however you can get clear bands!
  • No eating foods that will stick in your brackets easily.
  • Adjustments at the orthodontist, frequency will depend on your treatment plan.
Invisalign and braces typically cost about the same.
Payment plans and discounts are available at Red Dirt Orthodontics.

As you can tell, braces and Invisalign are the same treatment and it comes down to personal preference at the end of the day. Depending what your lifestyle looks like, one may be more beneficial than the other. Dr. Erickson and his team did a phenomenal job of walking me through this process and allowing me to decide which would work best. I simply chose Invisalign because of how often I am in front of the camera, but braces/ invisible braces would've been 100% okay with me too! 

After choosing Invisalign Dr. Erickson came up with my treatment plan & showed me how my teeth would move over the next several months. Which was super cool to me!

A frequent question I get asked is "does it hurt?" No matter your treatment plan, your teeth/ mouth may be slightly sore. The soreness does not bother me and never lasts for more than a day! I know friends and family have said the same thing about braces, but definitely tolerable no matter which treatment you decide to do.

Now that you know a little bit more about treatment options, schedule a complimentary smile consultation with Dr. Erickson and his team at Red Dirt Orthodontics! Even if you're unsure, a consultation is the perfect time to educate yourself about your options and possible treatment plans. You won't regret it!

xo Chels

Our Bucket List Trip to Bali

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January 15, 2020
Anyone that I have talked to about Bali has said that it is on their bucket list to travel to, it's just that place! You know, the kind of place with beaches, volcanoes, jungle, rice fields, and waterfalls. The place where the hardest choice is what adventure to take that day? The kind of place where locals are friendly and the culture is so unique. The kind of place where even if you do eat a ton, you're walking it off wandering the markets anyway. The place with alllll the Instagrammable moments hah! My point is, Bali is the place you go and never want to come back. I could write a novel about our trip in its entirety, but for now I want to focus on this little beauty of a place called Ubud.

Tegenungan Waterfall in Ubud.

Our private villa at the Sender Pool Suites.
Ubud is about 1.5 hrs from the airport, but a must if you're ever in Bali. It's full of art, adventure, and culture! Everything you wish to experience when visiting a foreign country, all at the palm of your hand. You will truly never get bored here! We stayed at the Sender Pool Suites which is walking distance to central Ubud. (We'll come back to why that's important later!) The staff at Sender are quite literally some of the nicest and most helpful people we've ever met. Not to mention, our villa was absolutely stunning and had a private pool. It felt like every boho lovers dream! And all you tall folks out there, the bathtub is definitely large enough for anyone over 6 ft. Chad especially loved this feature because he has never been able to comfortably fit in one (plus it came with complimentary bath salts)! Breakfast is included in your stay and you can even have it delivered to your villa. Take it up a notch and order a floating breakfast for a extra $30- totally worth it! The location of the villa is fantastic and away from the hustle & bustle of the main street. It's not too far away by any means, in fact we still walked to the main street multiple times a day. But just enough peace and quiet on this street to get away. If you're exhausted and needing a break from walking, the staff will assist you in renting motorbikes or getting a taxi! *Disclaimer: do not rent a motorbike if you've never driven one! Okay it's really not that hard, but these streets aren't made for newbies either.

Floating breakfast at the Sender Pool Suites.
Now on to the adventure! Ubud is full of outdoor adventure, cooking classes, art classes- you name it, they probably do it! We decided to do an ATV trek and cooking class during our stay. Both equally fun in their own ways. You'll find a ton of stalls that offer tours, but if you do just a tiny bit research online it'll probably help your decision. These are ones that we found in Ubud, but there are plenty of tours that will take you on further excursions.

The Ubud markets are located near Ubud center (mentioned above) and were walking distance from our villa! We went several times and each time I still felt like I was still missing something. This is 100% an experience in itself, just walking around and talking in the sights and smells. You'll find many hand carved goods, handbags, baskets, and clothes. If you're looking for unique souvenirs, you'll definitely wait to visit these markets! The best (and most fun) part is you get to barter with the sellers. Don't get me wrong, I was utterly nervous to attempt, but after bartering for a purse I was bartering left and right! It's a little bit of a game to the sellers as well, I think they enjoy it just as much as we do.

My favorite part of Ubud was Monkey Forest, a sanctuary located right in the heart of Ubud where monkeys roam free! I have never experienced anything like it. Monkeys are so intriguing to watch, especially when they're playing. This is a true sanctuary too, the grounds are beautiful and kept up extremely well. The monkeys are very content and well fed! With wild monkeys, also comes curious monkeys though... So you are on your own when it comes to monkeys possibly stealing from you hah! They mainly go for water bottles in close proximity, but I took off my jewelry just in case. Don't be alarmed if a monkey climbs on you either, they usually jump off within a few seconds! Be prepared to spend some time in here, there are a lot of monkeys and you just can't help but stop and admire.

Wearing bl^nk striped tunic from Anthropologie.

I would also love to recommend a few restaurants that deserve some attention, but I have to give credit where credit is due! This list from Honeycombers is pretty much where we got all our eating inspo. There is one restaurant (that I don’t think was mentioned) that we loved, Honeymoon Kitchen in Ubud! It is on the same street as the Sender, so we found it during one of our walks. Absolutely delicious nasi goreng and espresso martinis here! 

Bali consistently captures the hearts of the people who visit and once you go, you'll understand why.

I feel like there is still so much to be written about our trip, but I’ll come back another time. In the meantime, where are you traveling to next? And where would you like to see us travel to?
 xo Chels

New Hair, Same Me + got2b®

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September 09, 2019
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #got2batTarget #sponsored

Much like the fashion industry, hair trends are always changing. It's another form of expression to the world around you! The marvelous thing about hair is you can continually change it. Just make sure you're treating it well and not like an ex-boyfriend! I have been experimenting with my own hair since I was a teenager. (Sadly, I don't think I can ever pull off being a redhead ha!) For a long time I have wanted a vivid hair color, but could never take the plunge. I mean there are so many pretty colors in the rainbow, how do you choose?!

That's why when I saw Schwarzkopf got2b® Amethyst Chrome at Target, I knew I had finally found THE color. This multi-dimensional color is formulated with metallic-shine booster, for cool, shimmering tones. Which is perfect for naturally warm hair tones, like mine! Its anti-fading effect is excellent for summertime, since I'm in the sun + water a lot. Not to mention, is there a better way to try a vibrant color than in the comfort of your own home?

The entire process was easy and convenient, for a busy person like myself. It's 2019, so I know that convenience is key these days! I followed the package directions, did a patch test and viola! 30 minutes later I had the hair of my dreams. The anticipation of seeing my new hair was so thrilling! I knew that I would immediately want to style it.

Tips for achieving my desired hair:
-You may need 2 boxes if you have thick or long hair.
-Make sure your hair isn't newly washed.
-And read all of the instructions!

Have you ever colored your hair? Or have you been dying to try a new color? Let me know in the comments and say goodbye to boring colors with got2b® Metallics - the easiest way to transform your hair in the comfort of your own home. Celebrate afterwards with a killer outfit and a disco ball.

(And invite me!)

How to Spend the Best 48 Hours in NYC

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July 08, 2019

You will never guess what I am doing as I write this post... traveling! I know, I know. If you know anything about me, you know that my husband and I LOVE to travel. We feel incredibly lucky to be able to do so. Flexibility has helped us to travel pretty affordably. We usually happen upon really great airline tickets, but I’ll save those tips for another post! With how much we travel, I thought why not help other people make the most of their trips? Specifically, in 48 hours.

First things first. What do you travel for? I ask this, because that usually decides what you want to see and do the most. Do you live for seeing major landmarks and tourist attractions? Are you a foodie who wants to hang with the locals? Do you love to shop and seek to find charming markets? Whatever the case may be, this definitely helps narrow down a more specific list for your trip! I'll list specific tips for each below!

For Chad and I, we love to eat! The first thing we do when planning a trip is make a list of unique and locally loved restaurants. (Tip: We share a Note on our iPhones, which makes keeping a list pretty handy!) And that's exactly what we did.We started by asking for recommendations from friends and family, but also just knew of some places we wanted to go. If all else fails, ask the locals! Most people are friendly enough to mention their favorite restaurant in the area. It is NYC, so you're bound to find great food on every block! Which brings me to our first stop in NYC: Please Don’t Tell.

It's a quaint restaurant front, but head to the phone booth and get on the line. You'll be pleasantly surprised what you hear (and find) on the other side! Try not to Google it and ruin the surprise, but even if you do I think you'll still want to go! Fun for both drinks and food. The food menu is not large, in fact, it's mainly gourmet hot dogs. (Which was fine by me because I love hot dogs ha!) The drink menu had a nice variety and prices were fair! I would say if you're on a time crunch, definitely at least go for a drink!

Next stop, Pietro NoLita, which in NYC jargon NoLita refers to the part of town called North of Little Italy! This was probably one of my favorite pit stops of the trip. All pink, everything pink restaurant/ bar? It has Chelsea written all over it! The inside is adorable and retro feeling, but is very small though. I would recommend trying to make a reservation or going during the day on a weekday! The drinks we had were delicious and I regret not eating a meal here! We stopped in a few little stores and a bakery beforehand, so this part of town is perfect for exploring with no set plans.


Sweet Moment, in the heart of Little Italy, has unique coffee, tea, and deserts! Most of their drinks are topped with adorable art too. Detective Pickachu had just come out in theaters, so my Thai coffee was embellished with an adorable Pikachu! (Or so that's what I like to think ha!) Like I said above, this part of town is perfect for strolling about and walking distance to Pietro NoLita. Quaint shops and great photo ops along the way.

Need to refuel, but don't want to sit down for long? Joe's Pizza is the perfect place! We stopped by the Times Square location, but I know there are multiple locations around the city. Chad and I both ate for under $10 and it was DELICIOUS. I wish I had hopped back in line for a second slice! The line was out the door when we arrived and I was weary to wait in it because we had a show to get to. So glad we did and the line went by crazy fast. I think we were in and out in less than 15 minutes. You know it's good pizza when even the locals are coming in and getting multiple boxes to go! There are tables to eat at inside, but it was so packed we ended up taking our pizza slices with us. Not a big deal, still tasted just as good outside! Make sure to take in all the photos of celebrities who have visited hanging on the wall!

Before I move on to activities, I want to mention a few fun bars we popped in to kill time! The Arlo Roof Top bar inside the A.R.T. NoMad in Manhattan was a treat. Enter the hotel and take the stairs to the elevators. (You may have to ask a server to take you up to the roof top.) While it is a breathtaking view of NYC in general, it's about as close as you can be to the Empire State Building which towers over. Part of the bar also has a glass bottom floor which was both frightening and fun! The drinks were fresh and top-notch, but a bit pricey. ($$$) Paid for great drinks with a great view! My favorite bar (also a restaurant) we found is called Dutch Fred's and is conveniently located in the Theater District. Perfect for stopping by for a preshow beverage. A very creative and impressive cocktail list resides at Dutch Fred's (I'm talking Harry Potter themed cocktail) and they're open until the wee hours of the morning!

If you're going to NYC to see a Broadway show, I have several tips that may help you score cheaper tickets! Chad and I ended up buying ours on Ticketmaster, but not before I did my research. First of all, most of the Broadway shows have "lotteries" you can enter. This will either score you free or dirt cheap tickets- if you win that is. I found this website most helpful for breaking down each show's lottery. Unfortunately none of us won any lotteries we entered, which was a bummer but it wasn't plan A anyway! If you're not on a time crunch, try stopping by one of the TKTS discount booths. They offer same day tickets at 50% off. You can also download the TodayTix app for discounted tickets- there are other apps out there, but I liked this one a lot. Standing room tickets are also an option and extremely cheap, but standing for 3 hours in the back wasn't really what we had in mind. Maybe if we were residents in NYC that would be a viable option, but when you're on vacation a real seat was 100% worth paying for! Depending how big of a fan you are, wait outside the theater until the actors come outside. There is usually a roped off bit of area for the actors/actresses to leave and when they do some of them will sign your playbill! I didn't know this until my second time seeing a show, but I thought it was pretty neat and worth mentioning!

Just like Broadway shows, popular live television shows also offer some form of a lottery ticket system. And even better, they're free! Of course popular shows fill up fast, like Saturday Night Live. (You'll want to enter that lottery as soon as the season starts basically.) But luckily for shows like Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, the lottery comes out just one month ahead of time! Make sure to get online and request tickets as soon as you can. They do have a wait list and or you can try to get standby tickets the day of as well. Groups larger than four people are not allowed and personal items bigger than a small purse are also not allowed. (We learned the hard way! The closest locker is about a block away if you forget.) I know this sounds silly, but do arrive on time. We cut it super close and almost left our friend behind so we wouldn't miss the show! (Sorry about that Woeppel...) I believe the earlier you arrive, the better your seat is as well. Overall, 11/10 experience and would do it again in a heartbeat!

Pop-up experiences in big cities have been around for awhile and NYC did NOT disappoint with their options! The Color Factory is an immersive, color-centric experience. With things you can eat, touch, and even take with you- this pop-up is truly for kids aged 1-99. Not to mention, they have cameras stationed throughout the entire factory and you receive all of them in an email once you're done! This pop-up moves around about once a year though, so even if you can't make it to NYC it may be in a city near you sooner than you think! Not sure where to find out what's going on while you're in town? This website is great for finding events, concerts, and festivals happening in NYC!

YES, we did do all of the above + more in about 48 hours. We scheduled a few of the important things like Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, but for the most part we were flying by the seat of our pants. You'll notice that I didn't mention any of the major tourist attractions and that's because we like to take the road less traveled! I mentioned just a few of our favorite spots we discovered, but of course at the end of the day, I think you'll have the most fun uncovering your own favorite places. I could go on and on about the Big Apple and how much I love this city. It's never the same experience and I think that's what I love most about it! So whether you're spending 48 hours or a full week there, you're bound to find exactly what you weren't looking for. That's kind of the point of visiting the city that never sleeps, isn't it?


Weekend Travel Guide to OKC

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March 14, 2019

This post is sponsored by Roomkey. All opinions, text, and advice are my own. 

When traveling for a fun weekend getaway in the Midwest, most people forget about the little hidden gem that Oklahoma City is. Within the last five years, OKC has delivered an abundance of restaurants, bars, and hotels. We have modernized our districts and now have a plethora of charming, local shops. We even have a brand new streetcar! Trust me when I say, Oklahoma City has a lot to offer. Chad and I spent the weekend in our own city and still feel like there is always more to see and do. So whether you're a native Okie or a sightseer, Oklahoma City has a little something for everyone.

First things first. You're going to need a place to rest your head after eating all the finest foods in Oklahoma City. (Seriously- None Such was awarded 'America's Best New Restaurant' in 2018.) Chad and I found a hotel through Roomkey, the internet's only hotel search engine that compares prices and loyalty rates. There are oodles of great features, but one of my favorites is the ability to be alerted for dynamite deals at your favorite hotel through their “Price Alerts” feature! Just sit back and relax, while Roomkey does the work! You will be notified via email once they find a deal you won’t want to pass up. After I found a hotel, Roomkey took me directly to the hotel’s website where I booked our room. (I’ll share our favorite hotel in just a second.) BAM! Money saved. It’s hassle-free to book directly and you have the option to choose exactly what room you want. Booking directly also means that I don’t have to stress about my reservation getting lost. Roomkey simply curates loyalty rates that aren’t available through other online booking sites.

Chad and I are big time Marriott fans. There's just something about Marriott hotels that feel upscale, yet affordable! Did you know you can join their loyalty program for absolutely free? We signed up in a matter of minutes and had instant access to the special loyalty rates! Just by signing up, we automatically saved about $25. You’ll always save money by using a hotel royalty program! I used the hotel brand filter on Roomkey's website to help me narrow down the hotels in Oklahoma City. So it should come to no surprise that we ended up at the AC Hotel by Marriott in Oklahoma City- one of the newest hotels to hit the block! However, I also picked this particular hotel because of its fantastic location. Psst... there are restaurants, bars, and activities galore in this area! Most places are in walking distance, but of course Uber or Lyft are always a tap away. If you plan on driving yourself, just beware of paying for parking at most lots. Tip: Meters in Oklahoma City are free on the weekends!


Like I said earlier, Oklahoma City's restaurant industry is booming. We have every cuisine you can imagine and they're all one-of-a-kind places. I'm going to list just a few of my favorites that are musts, if you are only here for the weekend!

Cafe Kacao $$ Open M-F 7-2:30 PM Sat 7-4 PM Sun 8-3 PM (405)-602-2883
This Guatemalan/ Latin treasure is a necessity if you find yourself in Oklahoma City during the brunch hours. The craft coffees are to die for and the traditional Guatemalan breakfast, 'Desayuno Chapin', is my go-to. I highly recommend calling ahead to add your name to the list, but if you're stopping by during a weekday you most likely won't have a long wait.

Cheever's Cafe $$ Open M-Th 11-9:30 PM Fri 11-10:30 PM Sat 10-10:30 PM Sun 10-9 PM (405)-525-7007
I'm a sucker for any historical influence a building has kept intact. Thankfully, Cheever's has kept a lot of that since it was originally a flower shop during the early 1900's. After admiring the art deco architecture, you will find that the flower case is still the center of the restaurant. Besides being historically interesting, Cheever's is known for their classic yet modern comfort food. A popular choice among Oklahoman's is the Chicken Fried Steak!

Empire Slice House $ Open M-Sat 11-2 AM Sun 11-12 AM (405)-557-1760
This charm of a pizza place is located in the Plaza District- a redeveloped art district with shops and awe-inspiring murals. By serving New York style pizza slices, it has won the hearts of many locals. They serve a wide variety of local, craft beer which doesn't hurt either! If the weather is nice, definitely check out their new patio area. Once you're overstuffed with pizza, you may want to stop by the neighbor's at Roxy's Ice Cream Social for some tasty ice cream.


Oklahoma City nightlife has quickly evolved over the last decade. Once Bleu Garten and Fassler's came along, we started seeing craft breweries and outdoor patios open up. (You'll definitely want to check those places out if the weather is nice!) But even in the last year, we've seen a lot of new concepts arrive that OKC has never seen before.

Banquet Cinema Pub Open Thurs-Fri 4-2 AM Sat 11-2 AM Sun 11-11 PM Tues-Wed 4-11 PM
This nostalgic movie theater opened just this month and has already won me over. They play everything from sporting events to cult classics. Once you've picked a movie, feel free to arrive early and grab a beer bite to eat. Who am I kidding, definitely grab a beer while you're at it! After ordering, you can head to your theater and wait for your food to arrive. P.S. I highly suggest ordering the popcorn with 'crack butter'!

Bar Arbolada Open M-Thurs 3-12 AM Fri 3- 2 AM Sat 11-2 AM Sun 11-12 AM (405)-601-8569
You know how I mentioned I'm a sucker for anything history related? I'm also a sucker for just a good story period. That's exactly what Bar Arbolada is. Started by two Okies who found themselves in L.A. at the same place, same time. Found out they had a lot more in common than the average two strangers and come to find out, they lived on the same street in Los Angeles: Arbolada. What are the odds?! Anyway, stop by and have a craft cocktail (rotates seasonally) and enjoy the atmosphere.

The Jones Assembly Open Thurs- Sat 11-2 AM Sun 10-2 PM Tue-Wed 11-12 AM (405)-212-2378
If you're a local, you know this has been a hot spot since the day it opened! For good reason too. If Chad and I ever have out-of-towners with us, we always bring them here for a date night. Craft cocktails, incredible food, and a rad venue if you're seeing a concert. Check out their calendar before you head to OKC to see what's happening. The must-have on their menu is the Scratch Biscuits- they're exactly what the name sounds like: hot-out-of-the-oven-mini-honey-butter-goodness.


Oklahoma City has revitalized a lot of neighborhoods that were considered rundown not that long ago. All of our districts have a distinct and unique feel to them. You'll find local shops, breweries, and a slew of artistic murals. There is so much to see and do in each district that I recommend looking beforehand to see what suits your fancy. Most districts have events at least once a month, if not more, so you will easily find something to do on the weekends. I love that our districts are all relatively close together, which makes stopping by multiple very doable! Definitely take a ride on the streetcar if you have time to spare.

  • Automobile Alley Local shops galore. Variety of eats. Multiple streetcar stops. Parking can be tricky, but once you do find a spot, walking is very easy.
  • Bricktown In this district you'll find Russell Westbrook in. Stop by the Chesapeake and see a Thunder game. Lots of nightlife in this district, as well as family-friendly activities too.
  • Plaza District Restaurants and small bites are plentiful. Cute local shops for men, women, and baby. Tattoo parlor, yoga studio, and thrift shops!
  • Midtown Some of my favorite shops and restaurants are located here. Streetcar passes through. Walking is the best way to get around this district.
  • Paseo Arts District Known for their First Friday Gallery Walks, this is a pit-stop necessity for any art appreciator. Walking is best. One of the most unique and quaintest neighborhoods around.
  • Wheeler District (As pictured above) One of Oklahoma City's newest districts, with plans of it being an urban neighborhood by 2030. Right now, the main attraction is the former Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel. Hammocks and a snack bar make this place the perfect way to catch some rays.

There you have it, folks. A quick, weekend getaway guide to Oklahoma City. I have a mile-long list of recommendations if you plan on staying longer. Please don't hesitate to leave a comment or email me if you have any questions. Can't wait for you to see all that OKC has to offer. Xo

Photography by Chris Paul Photos

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